This is a very different book from the authors earlier academic tome Bumble bees: behaviour, ecology, and conservation published in 2003 and updated in 2009. The latter was full of references and diagrams, so that it has rightly become a standard text book. In contrast, A sting in the tale has no references, and no illustrations at all. It is a very personal account of the author’s interest in natural history and how he came to focus on bumble bees. It gives several examples of the principles and practice of bumble bee conservation.